So, I recently wrote a very intimate, and personal post about the struggles of my own inner world. Surprisingly, I got way more feedback, messages, comments, and heartfelt love than I could have ever imagined. It made me think. Why are people so amazed when someone opens up about themselves and their life? Why do people get inspired just from someone being real? Perhaps it’s because very few people actually show their true selves. Or maybe it’s due to the fact that others are going through very similar struggles, and can therefore relate. Either way, we need more people who are real. Individuals who can show their strength, success and accomplishments, while also presenting their flaws, hardships and struggles.
Realistically, everyone fails and everyone succeeds. But people tend to shine light on only the good, exceptional and acceptable parts. Not their flaws, flops or doubts. Which psychologically speaking, makes sense. But then we all go through life, thinking others have easy, wonderful, perfect lives, when truthfully, they don’t. No one does. Everyone suffers, everyone has struggles, and everyone is dealing with their own pile of sh*t.
What people really care about is people who are real. Authentic. Open-hearted. Honest. Genuine. No one wants to hear about how successful, fit or productive you are. Because everyone already shows that. Instead, they wanna know your story, your struggles, and find some sort of connection with you. A place of common ground that says, “Hello there! I’m human, you’re human. We both suck at stuff, and we’re both good at stuff. Let’s be friends!”
So then why do we still feel the need to prove and push, and strive and hide? Rather than just let ourselves be. What are we hiding from, and what do we need to prove? Are we afraid of what others think? Do we want to feel like we have more control over ourselves and lives? Or is it more about just moving on, and moving forward the best way we know how?
Recipe for Being Real
Part of being authentic is to let “all” of ourselves be seen, not just the good, pretty parts, but the ugly, difficult parts as well. It’s kind of like baking (I love dessert). A recipe requires all ingredients, in certain amounts, in a certain order, while following particular directions. This includes the yummy parts, like sugar and chocolate. As well as the not so delicious parts, like flour and eggs. We need them ALL. In addition to ingredients, there are easy steps that must be completed, like measuring and stirring. Along with the more obnoxious steps, such as cleaning and waiting. What happens when we miss part of the ingredients, or skip certain steps? The cookie doesn’t turn out. It doesn’t taste good. And no one wants to eat it.
Well, we are each our own unique cookie (or tart, or cake, or pie). Therefore, if we lose certain qualities or ingredients about ourselves, or if we skip over steps that we know in our hearts we need to do, life will not turn out as deliciously as it could. So, flaunt and be proud of the accomplishments, success and strength you possess. But also, be real about the flaws, hardships, and setbacks you encounter.
How do we do this?
Listen Only to YOU
First and foremost, you have to learn who you really are on the inside. Don’t pay attention to others, or what you think you “should” be doing. Even forget about what you have been doing. Because change, and doing things differently, is the only way to move forward and up. We have to start anew and let things go.
So often I would listen to Society. Books. Magazines. Media. Other people. Rather than just listening to my own self. I believed there were only a few ways to eat, parent, dress, exercise and live. But truthfully, there are endless ways to do things. Just like there is huge variety amongst us as humans. There is huge variety in how we live and do things as well. This is okay. Its allowed. In fact, its preferred. You do you. I’ll do me. And we can still be friends.
Feelings can be fun. Sometimes they hurt. And other times they just plain suck. But they are all temporary emotions, which pass just as quickly as they come. What we have to do is acknowledge their existence, accept the feeling, and allow it in. The more we try to hide or fight how we feel, the longer the emotion sticks around. So, when we feel sadness, pain, grief, or anger, we learn how to deal with it. And eventually those difficult emotions don’t get to us as much. Leaving more room for happy, positive and uplifting emotions to enter.
Live & Love with HEART
Everyone’s heart is unique. Filled with one-of-a-kind passion, personality and love. Learning to live with this whole heart of yours, will inspire a sense of courage and faith that can’t be found anywhere else. Start listening to your inner being, that heart of wisdom. Only do things that you genuinely feel like doing. Hang around those people that open your heart, and make you come alive. Chase after activities, events and situations that lift you up, and bring out your inner joy. If there is no heart and love in what you do, don’t do it. And if there’s no heart or love in who you are right now, it’s probably not the REAL you. So make a change. Do something different. And find that REAL you, who is full of life, full of love and full of heart.